Christian History Institute

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Christian History

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It Happened Today: Irish Abbot Comgall Closes His Eyes in Deserved Rest (601)

The conclusion of St. Comgall’s strict but influential life.

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Daily Bible Illustrations

Devotional (2016 church year): Learn from Fiery Serpents (1866)

In pursuing the course which had been marked out for them, the Hebrew host...

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German bombers hit the Salvation Army’s International Headquarters in London, destroying many documents of historic interest.

Authority for the date:

Christian History 26 (1990).


Edgar Stillman Kelley’s choral work The Pilgrim’s Progress is produced at the Cincinnati May Festival. His music was in the late Romantic tradition.

Authority for the date:

Lahee, Henry Charles. Music in America.


Bishop C.H. Phillips speaks against a movement to unite the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church with the African Methodist Episcopal and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Churches, a plan which he says does not answer crucial questions of belief and organization. As it turns out, the movement will founder on its inability to agree on a name.

Authority for the date:

Phillips, C.H. History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America.


Death of Bible scholar Henry Barclay Swete, an Anglican who had stood firmly for the Bible when modern scholarship attacked it. He was a founder of the Journal of Theological Studies and wrote The Old Testament in Greek According to the Septuagint. He was described as a “pillar of Christian learning and a pattern of Christian life.”


Death of hymnwriter Anna Laetitia Waring. Born Quaker, she had become an Anglican and was a social reformer active in prison visitation. Her best-known hymn was “In Heavenly Love Abiding.”

Authority for the date:



At her urging, Ana M. Jarvis’s church in Philadelphia holds one of the first Mothers’ Day services. Ana supplies the church with white carnations, which had been her mom’s favorite flower.

Authority for the date:

Rice, Susan Tracy and Robert Haven. Mothers’ Day. Dodd, Mead and Co., 1954.


Death of Synesius of Siberia, a famous monk of the Orthodox Church.

Authority for the date:

Walsh, Michael J. A New Dictionary of Saints.


At the insistence of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo begins work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He writes this note to himself, “On this day, May 10, 1508, I Michelangelo, sculptor, have received on account from our Holy Lord Pope Julius II five hundred papal ducats toward the painting of the ceiling of the papal Sistine Chapel, on which I am beginning work today.”

Authority for the date:

Clement, Charles. “Painting on the Sistine Chapel,” in The Great Events by Famous Historians.


In Paris, fifty-four Knights Templars are burned alive. The order had been established to protect Holy Land pilgrims from bandits, becoming the “bankers” of the Middle Ages. Philip the Fair of France, wanting to seize their vast wealth, likely had trumped up the charges of blasphemy and homosexuality against them to convince Pope Clement to disband the order.

Authority for the date:

Standard encyclopedias.